Grateful Dead Live at Oxford Plains Speedway on 1988-07-02
- Live concert
- Grateful Dead
- DeadLists Project
Source: SBD + AUD 'Matrix Mix'
Source 1) FOB Schoeps CMC42s (8ft. spaced omni) > PCM F1/SL2000, then PCM 601ES > DAT > CDR
Source 2) SBD > Dat > Sonic Solutions > CDR
Both sources were extracted using EAC and time aligned/mixed/shn'ed by email@example.com using Cool Edit 2k (see additional notes in text file)
- 2004-07-02 14:01:18
- Oxford, ME
- SBD + AUD Matrix Mix
- Oxford Plains Speedway
Subject: Grateful Dead Memories
The first day I got on the bus, that's when it all began. Walked into a time machine with freaks everywhere. Never wanted the day to end. Sunshine all day !! Fast forward to Oxford we had a really good time. Traffic was long wait parked down the road. Walked to Speedway Boogie. I remember the crowd was laid back like a Maine Dead show. Sat near the free standing speakers and walked up to stage no problem. Great show lobster breakfast.
This one has a little of everything, or at least as much as can be crammed into a 3-hour GD performance. I often use the word "amazing" to describe the Dead's music, and it applies here.
The amazement starts out right from the beginning with an Iko, Iko. The song is a simple 2 chord sing-along, and you get the impression that these are serious musicians having a great effing time. If there was any doubt about their musicianship, the smoking Jack Straw puts that to rest. The only major flaw in the recording comes towards the end of this song, though, as the tape machine was no match for the Phil bombs.
There are great versions of nearly every song. The end of the first set was that place where the band breaks out the new songs. I've been to concerts by other bands where the new songs grind the energy to a halt, but that doesn't happen here. All three songs became mainstays of the repertoire, although I have to say that I wasn't sure what to make of "Victim or the Crime" when I heard it that night. It eventually grew on me to where I now like it a lot.
I consider the Playing In the Band from this show to be one of the better versions of the era. Terrapin is powerful. And then there's Space.
It bewilders me why so many Deadheads seem to dislike Space. The Dead were unique in a lot of respects, but it was their ability to be creative during these space jams that really set them apart from every other band that ever existed. And Space from this show is as good as it gets. It's pretty amazing. And it transitions so beautifully into The Wheel.
I'm not a huge fan of the Dead's versions of Memphis Blues Again or Gimme Some Lovin'. The former has a cool signature lick that repeats throughout the song, but the song is long and doesn't really build.. The latter would be a fun set opener, but it lacks the power to really work in the post-drums segment. The band makes up for it, though, with a segue into a blistering version of All Along the Watchtower.
My one other criticism is that the Morning Dew, like many of the later versions, is somewhat anti-climactic. It peaks too early, in the guitar solo prior to the last verse. In the best versions of this song, the outro starts off quietly and slowly builds to an insane crescendo. This version nails the quiet part, but the build seems abruptly cut off.
But not to worry! The Dead weren't finished yet. After Morning Dew, they tack on a very satisfying Sugar Magnolia to end the 2nd set.
Subject: Every Critic is an asshole...
Subject: I had Grate time at these shows
Subject: Easy Francis!! Double Dose/Ip357/groovenut
Subject: Mediocre Show
Subject: Dead show at Oxford plains 1988-07-02
After being dismissed from my security position as well as two of my friends I worked with during the week in construction, we headed to visit with the deaders, which I found to be very nice overall. We came across the vendors of the venue to which my friends were happy to patron, as well as share with me. What an experience. The next show I woke of cloudy mind, and still enjoyed the experience of doing 2 days of security work and partying with the deaders.
Subject: Iranian Airliner shot down
Subject: Fun show
Subject: Best... Shows.... EVER
This is me: my friends made me swear to take every drug offered to me. We are sitting around a campfire chilling with about 60 strangers and I'm already on 5 different kinds of mushies and 3 different types of Bear, a ton of whippets and throwing down drinks when this girl comes skipping up, zeros in right on me and asks "have you ever tried opium before?" Ummm, no. So I had to try it and in a hot second I'm astral-projecting. I'm still sitting cross-legged but i'm about 30 feet above my body, also cross-legged below me. I can hear everything and what was cool was I could see above the trees and scoped the perfect path to the concert through all of these endless camps. I KNEW RIGHT WHERE TO GO~!
Some of you might remember that old Dead "Soapium" that smelled like it had been cut with Ivory Soap and Strawberries. I don't think I toked Laxmi Dhoop but Dragon's Blood laced with Fentanyl. That was the second time in my life I had lucidly projected and it was rad!
On the way into the show everyone was offering me free beers, which of course I had to drink. Inside there were fairies running around with vials of fluff, which of course I had to take! Hey, GDF guys with your wing-pins, don't talk to me about thumbprints bros, back in the day we got face-melted directly from the vials, I'm guessing there was enough in that dropper to make at least a sheet of white-crystal fluff hits! Damn!!!!!
Halfway through the show I had to go for a walk. Keep in mind, there are over 250,000 people in that show and we didn't have a flag or anything. I just had the mic-forest as a reference point. I went everywhere and smoked some of those bowls that were the size of my head, and somehow I made it back to my peeps who were quite amazed! They made me lead them on a tour of the place! The worst thing - remember the Heads who threw down their blankets to mark their "space" and then acted offended when you walked over them? DUDES - THERE ARE 250,000 PEOPLE HERE. YOU'RE BLANKETS ARE GETTING STEPPED ON. DEAL WITH IT. LOVE YA.
Those Oxford shows were amazing and the nights were just as awesome! Everyone was partying like their lives depended on it and there was insane amounts of love and peace everywhere. All of the newbs we took were transformed. Those were no ordinary Dead shows! I've seen lists of the best shows, and I've never understood how any of the Oxford shows were never included. Absolutely amazing to three infinities squared times four eternities! The largest gathering of the Tribes ever in human history! And who can forget the end song of July 3rd: "Not Fade Away" where the band said goodbye and the crowd of half a million sang the lyrics for the next hour as we all shuffled off to our camps:
I wanna tell you how it's gonna be
You're gonna give your love to me
I wanna love you night and day
You know my love will not fade away
You know my love will not fade away
Not fade away
My love's bigger than a Cadillac
I try to show you but you drive me back
Your love for me has got to be real
You're gonna know just how I feel
Love's real, not fade away
Not fade away
Crowd repeats for the next hour: "love's real, not fade away, love's real not fade away"
Anyone wanna rap about those days, shoot me an email "firstname.lastname@example.org"
Subject: my sons first dead show (in my belly)
"thought i heard a baby cry this morning guess it doesn't matter anyway..."
((jerry)) <3 ::blessed::
Subject: I Lived down the road
She went to about 10 more shows after that.
We had to walk miles!
The crowd was impressive.
The vibe was perfect.
Still my favorite Foolish Heart.
Sure miss going to Grateful Dead Concerts.
Subject: Grumpy Granola Rollas (G/D Music Critics)
It's July 2, 2013, I'm relaxing (like everyone should) with Oxford Plains Speedway from This Day in 1988. And you know what? It's cool. It's a rockin' little show, tight as a fresh acorn. Even in my dye-hard tape trading days I never heard of this one, or really, most of the gems I've found on the Archives. If the Grateful Dead Archives were a movie Indiana Jones would fight Nazis for 'em.
(Now they've just gone from a really nice Crazy Fingers into an outstanding, outstanding Playin' jam- and that's cool. Listen close for this Uncle Johns...)
What's also cool is reading TDCarowindz's 7/2/12 review about buying an ounce of mushrooms for $20 from a suitcase in somebody's trunk in Maine at this show! And about syvhead getting smoked out by a redneck and then seeing him at that (this) show later that night. And Chirs U, January 2, 2008, who contributes "too much processed cheese will make you sick." Umm, ok. I love this shit! This is what makes the Dead the Grateful Dead. Celebrate the music, celebrate the scene, celebrate the celebration.
Every so often I read a review from what I have begun the call "grumpy granola rollas" who vehemently complain about the "social/cultural" reviews of shows and just want to stick to brass tacks: jerry's chops, bobby's timbre, phil's rhythm, the rating in a particular year, season, guitar model number, etc.- and that's fine and cool too. It is a big part of the value of these Archives.
BUT- I must point out that the folks writing about the weird hitchhiker they picked up in Vermont or the crazy morning after in the corn fields never seem to complain about the "music critics." Nobody ever says:
"Yawn...can somebody please stop XXXXXXXX from yet another vivisection of minute 2:12 of Slipknot!?"
"If I hear another 'whoa- this recording is so crisp' i'm going to lose it!!!"
"I guess nobody can just enjoy the scene and drugs and forget all about the music- lame."
Get what I'm saying? So, just back off all y'all grumpy granola rollas, yo- Puff on one and remember the romance and magic that was every Grateful Dead show. Remember that
"since the end is never told
we pay the teller off in gold
in the hopes that he will come back..."
Tune it up and Turn it up
...Ladies and Gentlemen:
the Grateful Dead.
Subject: 'Nuff said
Subject: parking lot scene
beautiful time all in all, great crowd...glad to have these sounds after all these years. lost my tapes long ago.
thank you all for participating and being the reason for this archive
Subject: Jack Straw Phil's Bass is ALIVE
Subject: FlavrFlav & GD Academia
Read FlavrFlav's review from 2007 (see way below). Reminded me of a paper I wrote circa 1981 at C.W. Post College on Long Island. The paper was for a history of popular music class, or something like that and the subject/title of my paper was Acid Rock. I remember the inspiration for writing it was a quote attributed to Phil Lesh in a Relix article which went about like this: "acid rock is any music you listen to while high on acid." Somehow, me's a thinks this relates to this Oxford Speedway gig...
Have a nice day....
Subject: Jerry POPPED my Cherry!!!
Got rushed in with the crowd..Standing on the speedway w/a full ticket in my hand and a huge (?) hanging over my head. walked to the back fence and saw a girl w/a NEED A MIRACLE sign..So-I gave her my ticket...Went wondering around looking for my friends(Who I lost at the gate madness)Next thing I know..The Dead are walking out onstage and everyone cheers and they just stand there tuning up and shooting the shit for like 20 minutes...and Im thinking...These guys are fuckin GREAT!!! LOL....Then all of a sudden they start playing "IKO-IKO" and the whole place explodes into a laughing,dancing,hugging great time...I looked around and said..."So THIS is what all the fuss is about"...I could'nt stop smiling and I knew my life would NEVER be the same again...GOD BLESS THE GRATEFUL DEAD (~);} BTW-The girl I gave my ticket to found me during D/S and gave me a HUGE hug and shared a nice STINKY bowl of HASH with me....All Good Things In All Good Time. :-)
Subject: below average....
Subject: Oxford Plains 88
I havent listened to these shows for a while now.The Playin Jam is righteous.
Subject: Mainely Joy
I always have difficulty saying this song version is the best or this show was the best. Each and every one is different and so are we each and every time. There are different people, different scenes, and different intakes. Isn't that why we kept going all those years?
This JS is good but I like the angry energy from Syracuse 10/20/84 Jack which I also saw. Doesn't minimize this Jack, just different stuff happening and it is what I personally like. And if you are into the Phil thing, check him out on Foolish Heart although Jerry shreds the lyrics. I always thought Phil separated himself on The Other One, but again, that's just me.
Glad I was able to catch 60+ shows from 83-92 and a dozen or so JGB shows which were a real treat. This weekend definitely stand outs in my aging brain as a great, great weekend for everything: music, scene, weather and friends.
Here's what stands out in my memory. Getting there was slow, a traffic jam in Maine. Who's going to sing for Little Feat? Concensus was Robert Palmer. Getting in. Too many cows through a small cattle shoot. Finally and most of all...
Magical, Electric, Spiritual, the great hello and goodbye of the Greatful Dead. The biggest party every thrown by one band ever in human history. Oxford was the best of the best. p.s. I later met members of Little Feat when they played a baseball stadium in Maine.
Subject: Camp, Dose, Mary and the sunset!!!
Oh to be eighteen again!
Subject: Saratoga > Rochester > Oxford
Subject: A Great Show in the woods
The scene: Chard, Peter and I drove up in the bus from Rochester. At some point I crawled in back for a nap and let Chard drive. When I woke up they were both trippin balls and we were pulling up to either a traffic jam or a roadblock - I don't remember which. What I do remember is that Chard's pupils were exploding all over his face and he was behind the wheel of my new baby with cops around. I was, uh, worried. Anyway, we made it out of that mess and wound up parking about a mile down from the venue in a little camp-type area with trees all around and only about 10 other cars. The sun was shining, it smelled like Maine in the summer time, and it was a beautiful day. Little Feat opened both nights, which was nice, but I actually enjoyed them more the next summer in Oregon. At these shows, I don't even think I went inside until they were almost done.
The music: Set I: um, can we get a sound check on Phil's bass? Yeah, that's nice. Now turn it to 11. Oh yeah, that's the stuff. Good song choices. Every song is really well played. Energy is flowing freely. Iko gets the crowd in the high energy dance mood. One of the best Jack Straw's I ever heard. Brent's piano animates Row Jimmy nicely. Blow Away keeps progressing, but at this early stage hadn't yet made it to where it ended up. His piano solo on this sounds a little bit "Little Feat" influenced, IMO. Maybe he was grooving to the opening act. Best Victim yet (in its short life span), giving a hint of the better, creepier, drawn-out jams that it would sprout later in its life. Foolish Heart is also getting better with each time out.
Set II: Crazy Fingers was just played two shows ago, but it's hard to ever argue that it's played too much, right? The jam isn't particularly special. The Playing jam, on the other hand, has Phil leading the charge and obviously everyone is really on. Jerry takes things deeper than usual for this time period (and even deeper a few weeks later at Laguna). This jam also allows more space (not in the drums>space sense) than was typical in 86-87 - that feeling that things can get loose without someone having to immediately step in and drag the jam into the next song. Towards the end of the jam, Bobby and Brent start chipping in nicely as well. UJB is good, but not great. I was fully expecting that they'd go into drums from UJB, and was very pleasantly surprised by Terrapin. The jam at the end of Terrapin is really nice. A furious space follows an interesting drums. Jerry is just going nuts all over that fretboard. As I stated above, this post-space section is as good as it gets in my book. Phil and Brent are fantastic for GSL. Listen to Phil and Jerry trading subtle beautiful chops in Morning Dew and you'll wonder, is this really 1988?? Just like Terrapin was a surprise before drums, we all expected Dew to end the set, so Sugar Mags was a great addition. Compared with most shows of this era, we really got two free extra songs this night (Terrapin and Sugar Mags). This Mags has legitimate energy - not one of those end-of-show dragging versions. Brent especially is strong on this one. Quinn ends the show on a high note.
Subject: Jack Strawful
Subject: Exelent show
Opener Iko is energetic and Jer changes up the lyrics from the usual mix (Indian Boy wanna go downtown)
All of the 80s songs are performed top notch. West LA and Victim are excelent. Blow Away is about as 80s pop as the dead got, but Brent's enthusiam brings it to life. Foolish Heart could be one of the best iv'e ever heard. The boys are new to the Built to Last material and they are messing around with what they want for these songs. the result is opposite of the early In the Dark live material (sophomoric and often boring) these early Built songs are mostly better than the preceding years renditions and that is what makes this show a "five star" show.
Wheel>Gimmie Some Lovin' is always apreciated as is the clsoer Quinn the Eskimo.
Great example of the energy to come in the next year of the Dead's existence.
Subject: pretty good
I have expended much intellectual energy on the micro/macrocosm and the ergonomics of shows/tour and would love to hear some of the topics enumerated by someone else's words and language constructs as mine stall pretty quickly.
e-mail me at nick at landess dot org
Oh, and I love the fact that you turned it in two years late.
Subject: cooking out/cooking in/ clean liqs & lobster...
Subject: GD Community
We didn't talk about tour, but I wrote the term paper, which was the entire grade, about Grateful Dead tour. Although I initially got an incomplete, and the paper was 2 years overdue, I got an A in the class when I finally turned it in. I must have kept deciding more first person research was neccessary. I have copies somewhere if anyone would like to read it.
Subject: weakened subculture?
Subject: The Candy
Subject: You must be joking...
Subject: To CoolFrayers:
If you don't have a ticket, don't come. This is real. This is first a music concert, not a free-for-all party. Secondly, don't vend. Vending attracts people without tickets. Many of the people without tickets have no responsibility or obligation to our scene. They don't give a shit. They act like idiots. They think it's just a party to get as trahed as possible at. We're all supposed to be about higher consciousness, not drunken stupidity.
-----> Want to end the touring life of the Grateful Dead? Allow bottle-throwing gate crashers to keep on thinking they're cool anarchists instead of the creeps they are. <---- (THAT'S YOU, COOL FRAYERS!!!!!!!!!!)
Want to continue it? Listen to the rules, and pressure others to do so. A few more scenes like Sunday night, and we'll quite simply be unable to play. The spirit of the Grateful Dead is at stake, and we'll do what we have to do to protect it. And when you hear somebody say "Fuck you, we'll do what we want," remember something.
That applies to us, too.
Phil, Jerry, Bobby, Mickey, Billy and Vince "
they said it better than I could./
Subject: Oxford was the best!
We had tickets for the second day, but on day one a miracle happened. My Brother-in-law held up part of a fence as we were walking by. He had no intention of going in, but he felt I needed to. Everything was in slow motion. A friend and myself boogied for the fence, ( as best we could ;-) )Security was on our tail... the next thing I know we are inside..then we are dancing closer, ever closer, until we were at the stage. There were no crowds pushing, all good people, all good vibes, it was just all good.
Anyone that has pictures of the event please send them to me. I have a few, but this was the last most incredible thing I was able to sheare with my sister, and it was magic.
Subject: Phil Bombs.. so what?
Subject: its all about the Jack Straw
Phil is grooving hard and laying it down throughout ...and Jerry's tone to start the big jam always gives me chills
Subject: The Ultralight
Show has near-full SBD sound w/good ambient crowd noise - as per usual with a matrix source ... but that's about all the good I can say about it.
I really tried to dig this show, summer outdoor New England show w/festive Iko opening an all ... it's just not happenin.
Subject: Great show!
We were treated to some really rare banter from the stage, which was amusing.
There was a special "Dead moment" during Birdsong, when a man in an ultralight flew over the speedway, eliciting cheers of delight from the crowd. One of my friends took a photo of Brent, looking straight up to see what everyone else was looking at.
The jam in Crazy Fingers was absolutely inspired.
As the night wore on, it got quite chilly, setting up for an amazing Morning Dew. I highly recommend both shows.
Subject: Good gig but Saratoga still stands taller
And you know, Phil's right... he's the frickin bass player, and has two songs in his repertoire at the moment... lay off.
"Memphis Blues" is finely contoured, but I always appreciated when this song was in the after-ballad slot as we're moving to "Row." Bobby and Brent's activity help it move beyond the trudgery that sometimes afflicts stationary versions. "Blow"'s verses don't impress but you get a sense with the outro how impressively frantic if they choose to extend it beyond the song structure. There's more forward momentum than usual in this typically frightening "Victim." After the stand-alone song "Foolish" is quickly ushered in to seemingly close the set. It's fine but kinda fades away unconvincingly...the stirring requires more of a climax I do believe.
2nd Set: Twas a surprise to me that the set started out on a "Crazy" note considering the subdued nature of how the first concluded. That being said, this version flows magnificently, especially during the final couple of minutes. Nice rimmin' skiffle during "Playin"'s second verse...the band liftoffs afterwards making me extremely bitter towards my boss who's present... preventing me from spinning contorting my bod into desirable seizures. Predictably we end up grounding ourselves to do the "UJB" thing, which is good and all...but it's really a 'by the numbers' thing to do. If "Terrapin" didn't have verses to croak out, it would be a doozy. After four substantial songs, nobody should be shocked that it's "Drums" time. It and "Space" grooves into warmer regions signalling a lesson about the Circle of Life...ahem, "The Wheel." Can we say 'triple threat?' "Gimme" is a decent rocker but "Watchtower" is the real ambitious barnstormer both in dissonant design and execution. Like most tunes tonight, "Dew"'s feelings are better expressed through the music than the recitement of the lyrics. Uhhh, that is til Jerry's desperate pleadings during the third verse. (8:00 or so) "Sugar" is an ease of a good time...but nothing urgent or necessary for the lungs.
"Mighty" isn't quite at that level, but it's a simple clap-along.
3 1/2 stars
Subject: Kudo's to you who made this matrix
Subject: Superb Sound
Subject: oxford rules
Phil was the real highlight of this show for me. He busts out some speaker-shattering chords during jackstraw, and the band chatter he kicked off later in the 1st set is very funny. The setlist is mostly pretty standard stuff, but the 1st half of the 2nd set has some very nice jams.
Subject: Great Shows!
The Iko-Jack straw just got things going- I distinctly remember the crowd noise rise when Bobby sang "Leavin' Texas, 4th day of July", but it's the 2nd set here that makes the show. Crazy Fingers opener so sweet, nice Uncle John's, terrific Wheel, absolutely amazing Dew and a wicked Quinn encore.
If you were there you have to have this one.
Subject: A Great Time
Subject: The Pepto Pink
A particularly funny moment occurred during one of the choruses of Row Jimmy (probably the one right after the 3rd verse where Brent used to solo), when Bobby gets the notion to grab his guitar like a canoe paddle and starts paddling air--very purposely and seriously. This is the genius of Bob. Phil sees him, makes a jerky motion back and forth with his bass that clearly indicates to the rest of the band and entire audience that, yes, Bobby is indeed an ass. Bob catches Phil out of the corner of his eye, becomes completely self-conscious, and sheepishly goes back to actually playing his guitar. Sublime.
There was a lot of banter from the stage this summer tour. In fact, I seem to recall them having almost like little "bits" worked out. Punchline Jerry: "Don't listen to Weir, he's been crazy all these years." To thunderous applause of course.
The sound was magnificent these two days (at least from where I was squished on Day 1--Day 2 was back further, and the sound seemed even better out there). I recall heads trying to get a Help>Slip>Frank chant organized pre-show. The crude butterfly tattoo on the butt of an oblivious dancer stripped buck naked during the first set and having the audience part like the Red Sea before Moses as she majestically danced her way to the front. Laughing so hard my jaw hurt for 3 days.
Most of all I remember that sunset behind the boys as Crazy Fingers began.
Subject: fun time
Subject: Siiiiiickkkkkkkkkkk Dew!
Sound is very good, mix is tight...Phil is thunderous. Def. download
Subject: 2 great nights to remember
Subject: driftin and dreamin
Subject: performance better than recording
09-11-88 is superior to this recording.
Subject: We want Steve!!!
They took us all, alright. Best show of 88, hands down. Nice recording, too.
Subject: Hot Show!
phil leaving bombs on jack straw that hurt!!! by far the best show of 1988!!!! get it!
Subject: Nice Show
check out 11-25-79.
Subject: Phil's the man
The Phil bombs are intense...The dead always played their best in Maine.
Note: The Drums and Space are cut short on this one. Get the Drums and Space from the SBD (only) they are complete (and absolutely insane)!!!
Subject: We want Phil
Subject: Memorable Show
This show is especially good if you're a Philhead like me. Phil goes absolutely nuts during Jack Straw. Listen to this show on a system with a good subwoofer.
Subject: one for the books
Subject: Phil droppin' the bombs on Jack Straw
Subject: Let Ramrod sing!!
Subject: creamer lovin maine